When does a construction specification become a sales lead?

For building product manufacturers, understanding the architectural sales process is crucial to converting construction specification into successful sales. But when does a 3-part construction specification become a sales lead?

Let’s demystify this journey, clarify common misconceptions, and explore the role of specifications securing a pipeline of sales leads.

The Strategic Advantage of Construction Specs

At the heart of architectural planning and project execution lies the architect’s office master, like our SimpleSpecs system. This crucial resource serves as a repository of trusted office specifications for products and materials. Carefully curated by architects and design professionals for regular use across their projects. Achieving a place in the office master signifies that your product is recognized as a pre-approved standard. Streamlining the specification process for future initiatives and ensuring its continued use without necessitating a repeat of the exhaustive sales cycle.

The journey of getting specified for individual projects, while more restrictive, presents its own set of rewards. It demands engaging directly with the design team for each new project, during the design development phase. Despite being time-intensive, this pathway is invaluable for continually filling your sales pipeline and fostering brand relationships.

The Misconception About Specifications

Getting specified by architects and design professionals doesn’t immediately equate to a sales lead. This is a common misunderstanding in the industry, and is often overlooked by brands desiring a position in the market.

A specification is the professional recommendation or preference for a product based on its merits and suitability for a particular project. While it’s an important step, it does not guarantee a sale. It’s not a lead to hand off to a sales person.

The Real Starting Point of a Sales Lead

The construction specification becomes a sales lead once the project moves into the bidding phase. It’s at this point that contractors start looking at the specified products and reach out to installers and manufacturers for quotes.

This transition from a document on an architect’s desk to an active inquiry from a contractor marks the evolution of a specification into a genuine sales lead.

How to Capitalize on the Construction Specs

  1. Offer Continuing Education: One of the most effective strategies for maintaining and enhancing relationships with architects is to offer continuing education. You keep your brand at the forefront of their minds but also help them make informed decisions for their projects. Platforms like AECDaily.com are excellent resources for hosting educational content. That can broaden your outreach and reinforce your commitment to supporting the architectural community. Learn more about AECDaily.com.
  2. Monitor Projects: Staying ahead in the competitive landscape requires a proactive approach. Especially in monitoring projects where your brand has been specified. This foresight enables you to prepare and engage early in the bidding process. Ensuring your products are considered at the crucial decision-making phase. By identifying projects slated for bid, you position your brand advantageously, ready to meet the needs of contractors.
  3. Contractors: While securing a specification from architects is a critical step, the journey doesn’t end there. The actual conversion of specifications into sales is heavily influenced by the contractors.
    • And installers who will be purchasing and implementing your products. Creating and maintaining a list of general contractors and installers involved in the bidding process is not just strategic; it’s essential.
    • These contacts become prime targets for future sales leads, serving as the bridge between specification and purchase. Engaging with contractors early and effectively can significantly influence their product choices, tipping the scales in your favor.


Understanding when a 3-part specification becomes a sales lead during the bidding phase is essential for effective sales strategy. By recognizing the importance of the architect’s office master as a pre-specified channel. And project specifications as a sales lead, manufacturers enhance their chances of seeing their specifications turn into sales.

Manufacturers must navigate the architectural sales process with patience and strategic action. Knowing that a specification is the first step in a longer journey towards closing a sale. With diligence and the right approach, being specified can lead to a pipeline of sales leads and building a brand.